5 great local Tamil films from the past decade
Writer: Florey DM
Have you watched these local Tamil films?
The Malaysian film industry comprises an interesting mix of films of various languages; among these is the Tamil language, spoken by the Tamil community that makes up 90 percent of the Malaysian Indian population. As the nation celebrates Deepavali this weekend, let us take a look at five of the noteworthy locally-produced Tamil movies that were released in cinemas over the past decade.
"Vedigundu Pasangge" (2018)
"Vedigundu Pasangge" is currently the highest-grossing Malaysian Tamil movie of all time, having also set the record as the first local Tamil-language film to cross the RM1 million mark at the box office with its RM1,330,219 collection. Directed by TS. DR. Vimala Perumal, the comedy drama serves as the third and final instalment of the "Pasangge" trilogy, which includes 2014's "Vetti Pasanga" and 2011's "Vilayaatu Pasange". Denes Kumar stars as Theva opposite Sangeeta Krishnasamy's Vithya. The movie centres on Theva, who, after ending up in a big twisted situation, realises that everything around him is a pool of mystery and things turn worse when one day, Boss (Magendran Raman) uses him as bait for a wrong agenda.
Highlighting the plight of Malaysian Indians who are forced to move to the cities after being forsaken by estate owners, "Jagat's" focus on social issues earned the crime drama film its well-deserved Best Film wins at the 28th Malaysia Film Festival as well as 2016 Kuala Lumpur Film Critics Award. Shanjhey Kumar Perumal, who wrote and directed the movie, also nabbed Best Director from both film festivals. Set in early 1990s, it tells the story of Appoy (Harvind Raj), a mischievous 12-year-old boy, and his relationships with his father, Maniam, and his uncles, a former drug-addict named Bala and a local gangster named Dorai.
"Vere Vazhi Ille" (2015)
Touted as the first Tamil zombie movie, this horror-comedy written and directed by M.S. Prem Nath revolves around a laidback guy named Surya. Constantly switching jobs, his latest stint is working as a temporary security guard at a shopping complex that will be shut down soon. He is warned to stay away from the sixth floor, which is rented by a religious yoga group. But when the group unleashes a horde of zombies after opening the door to the spirit world, Surya realises the only way to stop them is by looking for the Black Magic Book on the sixth floor.
For about 4 years, "Maindhan" held on to the title of the highest-grossing local Tamil film in Malaysia with its RM903,550 box office collection, before being overtaken by "Vedigundu Pasangge" in 2018. C. Kumaresan directed and starred in the movie as Dev, while rapper Rabbit Mac played Dev's best friend and popular radio personality Gheetha played Gayathri. The action-comedy follows a heartbroken Dev who turns to alcohol to drown his sorrows. He then meets a young boy from a shelter home who bears similarities to his ex-girlfriend. His decision to get to know the boy only worsens things for him.
If Malay movie fans have the 2009 "Papadom", Tamil movie fans have the 2011 "Appalam". Both are directed by funny man Afdlin Shauki, who also starred in the Malay movie and appeared in the Tamil version. "Appalam", which won Best Film at the Malaysia Indian Film Festival 2012, stars S. Gana as Appalasamy, who becomes an overprotective father after his wife Nalaini (Jaclyn Victor) died in an accident. His daughter, 17-year-old Shruthi (Raja Ilya), decides to further her studies in Kuala Lumpur to escape his overbearing parenting. Unbeknownst to her, Appalasamy takes up a job as a gardener at her college just so he can continue to watch over her.
Cinema Online, 15 November 2020